Americas Most Successful Owner-Trainer, Daily Racing Form, 1913-03-25


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* T . -_ * J AMERICAS MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER-TRAINER J. £ H. G. BEDWELL. THE departure of S. C. Hildreth for France In the early part of last year left H. G. Bed-well in undisputed possession of the field as the most successful of American owner-trainers of 1 the present day. As readers of Daily Racing Form who have been following the statistical features in recent issues of this newspaper are aware, Mr. Bedwell headed the list of American trainers for 1909 and 1912 and was in other recent years sufficiently close to the top to give him the distinction and honor of having sad-died more winners by far during the past five years than any other American trainer. Mr. Bedwell has generally been described. t since he became prominent on the turf, as hail- t ing from Colorado. This is because it was I while living in Colorado that he first became t interested in the racing thoroughbred. As a I matter of fact, Mr. Bedwell was born in the I Pacific Northwest, at Roseburg, Ore., June 22, 1 1874. He therefore is not yet 39 years of age. i When still a youth he removed with his par- J ents to Colorado and, on reaching manhood, became interested in politics and was elected I to the office of county clerk at Grand Junction. 1 It was at this time that he began to take an 1 interest in the racing of horses. The trotter I at first claimed his attention and he developed 1 into one of the most enthusiastic of harness * drivers. While visiting in Denver in 1905 he unexpectedly purchased the Rey el Santa Anita — Los Angeles gelding, Los Angeleno, then six J years old, for 00. This transaction turned out to be the stepping stone to the prominence J and success which he has since achieved as a conditioner of the thoroughbred. It is a matter of history that under his skillful direction Los Angeleno became one of the greatest long-dist- ■ ance racers of recent years. Los Angelenos sensational victories in the Thornton Stakes and Thornton Renewal of 1907 at Oakland did much to bring Mr. Bedwell into public notice and encouraged him to increase the scope of his operations. Los Angeleno really laid the foundation for the Bedwell successes that have been a marked feature of American racing during the past few years. His winnings enabled Mr. Bedwell to strengthen his stable, which 4 _ was destined eventually to become one of the most extensive and useful In the land. Mr. Bedwell has since owned some horses of undoubted class, but none of them occupies the niche In his affections that Los Angeleno does, which is quite natural under the circumstances. It was because he was in bad health that Mr. Bedwell sold his livery and sale stable at Grand Junction, Col., in 1905, and embarked on his racing campaign with Los Angeleno and another horse. His physician had told him that he must give up indoors work and spend as much time as possible in the open. It was this that influenced him to buy Los Angeleno when he accidentally ran across the gelding in a Denver horseshoeing establishment that he had occasion to visit. It is interesting to conjecture what the outcome of his racing venture would have been had he been less fortunate In acquiring a good horse at the outset. During the years from 1906 to 1912, inclusive, Mr. Bedwells winnings on the turf in stakes and purses amounted to the comfortable total of 17,482. Mr. Bedwell runs his stable in a business-like manner and depends upon purse winnings to yield a profit rather than the winning of wagers. He is not a big bettor and generally contents himself with small wagers on the chances of his horses. He enjoyed his banner season in 1909. when he saddled 122 winners and won 2,218 in stakes and purses. Last year he saddled eighty-four winners and his stable earnings amounted to 7,452, which was by no means a bad showing in these comparatively lean days of the sport of racing. He has already made an auspicious start for 1913 at Palmetto Park, Charleston, where most of his big stable is quartered. He likewise has had a few horses racing at Juarez in charge of Walter Heath. A keen judge of the thoroughbred, Mr. Bedwell has achieved much of his phenomenal success by reason of an ability to get results with horses that have raced indifferently for others. It is also noticeable that he seems able to race a horse successfully at an older age than Is usually regarded as the limit of the racing thoroughbreds usefulness. It is probable that the secret of his success in both respects lies in his ability to keep his horses in the pink of physical condition. Before he embarked in racing he learned the value of tonics in handling horses and he has always been a great believer in their efficacy. Building up a run-down horse is one of the things in which he excells. It is noticeable that the Bedwell horses are able to stand longer and more exacting campaigns than the average racer. The careful attention that their owner constantly pays to their physical condition unquestionably provides the explanation. The Bedwell horses appear to thrive on racing, rather than the reverse. One of Mr. Bedwells strong points as a trainer is an intimate understanding and appreciation of the peculiarities of each individual in his string. Each horse receives the special treatment which seems best adapted to its particular case. In discussing this phase of training Mr. Bedwell was once quoted as follows: "I try to guess a horses temperament. There is no set method and rule for the training of the running horse that will absolutely yield results, in my opinion. You rarely find thoroughbreds alike in disposition. One class would run themselves Into the ground in their work if permitted to do so. Others sulk and refuse to work. I try different styles of training a horse until I hit on the one that produces the best results and then stick to that. There is a great deal more to the task of training race horses than simply letting the horse do a bit of galloping in the mornings. Close study of a horses peculiarities is essential to success." Besides being so skillful in the handling of horses, Mr. Bedwell is a good business man. He personally attends to practically all the details of the running of his big stable. He is a good judge of jockeys and has developed several good ones, including Taplin, who was at his best when under contract to the Bedwell stable. Aside from the pleasure that he derives from the successful training of his horses Mr. Bedwells chief enjoyment is automobiling. He is a daring and expert driver and takes keen delight in piloting a high-speed car. 4«— ■ # j,

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